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April 12, 2010

Hokies' ACC Tournament not a memorable one

By: Jimmy Robertson

Malcolm Delaney and the Hokies couldn’t get past Miami in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament.

The anguished look on Malcolm Delaney’s face said it all.

So, too, did the stat line – 3-for-15, seven points.

“I shot horribly,” he said. “I had so many open looks that I just missed. Easy looks, too. I don’t know. I just shot horribly.”

Delaney and his teammates suffered a miserable shooting afternoon, hitting only 38.1 percent from the floor, and that, combined with some late breakdowns on defense, told the story in a 70-65 loss to Miami in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament held in Greensboro, N.C.

The Hokies were looking to advance to the semifinals of the ACC Tournament for the third time since joining the league. Instead, they went home after one game, falling to the 12th-seeded ’Canes for the second time this season.

“It’s very disappointing, but we didn’t do what we were supposed to do to win,” Delaney said. “Every team in the ACC is good. Any team can lose. We didn’t get stops and we didn’t make shots. That was the biggest thing.”

In spite of Tech’s poor shooting, the Hokies were in this one to the end. And while no one blamed the officiating afterward, they responded to media members when asked about two critical non-calls that worked against them in the final minute.

Tech trailed 66-65 heading into the final minute, and Delaney missed two shots that would have given the Hokies the lead. The first shot came on a jumper after a timeout with 46 seconds remaining. Miami’s Reggie Johnson then got the rebound, but Delaney stripped Johnson and went up for another shot underneath the basket that was hotly contested. Delaney wanted the foul call, but no call came.

“I don’t want to speak on that play,” he said.

The second non-call came after Malcolm Grant’s two free throws with 25.7 seconds remaining gave Miami a 68-65 lead. Delaney pushed the ball up the court and drove inside, but Miami’s defense collapsed on him, and he tossed the ball to Terrell Bell in the corner. Bell, who had been hot with four 3-pointers already, saw his shot come up short. Bell thought he got hit on the attempt.

“It’s the same shot I took all game,” Bell said. “One of their players hit my hand and I looked at the ref, but he didn’t make the call.

“It happens. It’s disappointing. But the bottom line is we should have played way better from the beginning.”

Jeff Allen led the Hokies with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Dorenzo Hudson added 16 points – 13 of those coming in the first eight minutes of the game. Bell finished with 12.

Delaney, though, struggled, missing all eight of his 3-point attempts.

“I thought I got a lot of open shots,” Delaney said. “They were going under ball screens and I’ve never seen a team go under ball screens. They played it smart because I wasn’t making shots.”

“I look at Malcolm’s 15 shots and I’m not sure he took a bad shot,” Tech coach Seth Greenberg said. “So it was just one of those days. He was so special against Georgia Tech and Wake Forest and some of those other games. He just didn’t make shots in this one. We picked a bad day not to make shots.”

Durand Scott paced the ’Canes with 17 points – nine in the final three minutes – and Johnson grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds.

Miami hammered Tech 46-29 on the boards, and the ’Canes shot 46.3 percent from the floor as well.

“I thought we played hard,” Greenberg said. “I know it sounds simplistic, but we didn’t guard the ball the way we needed to and we didn’t make shots. It’s not a whole lot trickier than that. But that’s what the game is – it’s a make-and-miss game.”

Tournament tidbits

• Bell became the third Tech player this season to make at least four 3-pointers in a game. His four 3-pointers are a new career high, breaking his previous mark of three, which coincidentally, came against Miami earlier this season.

• Allen’s double-double marked his seventh of the season and the 26th of his career. His 11 rebounds enabled him to become the only Hokie in the top 10 at Tech in career rebounding, steals and blocked shots.

• Tech fell to 3-6 in ACC Tournament action and 2-2 in quarterfinal games.